Travel firms improving deals through ‘Bangon Tours’

Cebu City, Cebu — The Network of Independent Travel Agencies (NITAS) vowed to provide more innovative travel packages encouraging more tourists to visit disaster-stricken tourist destinations as a move to support the Tourism Promotions Board’s (TPB) special program called “Bangon Tours.”

“The Philippines continues to be an attractive destination for tourists despite the calamities we experience and we are here to prove that,” said NITAS President Bobby Lim Joseph, adding that the group is scheduled to meet Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez by February to express their strong commitment to boost more tourist arrivals to destinations hit by the earthquake and typhoon last year.

In an earlier pronouncement, Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), formerly known as the Philippine Visitors and Conventions Center, chief operating officer Domingo Enerio said that the Philippines will likely miss its 5.5 million visitor arrivals target on account of the triple whammy which hit the tourism sector, such as the Zamboanga crisis in September, earthquake in October, and the super Typhoon Yolanda in November.

The anticipated drop in foreign arrivals is one of the reasons the Department of Tourism, through the TPB, has launched “Bangon Tours,” a social tourism effort aimed at encouraging domestic travelers to visit major tourism destinations as a way to help in the rehabilitation and recovery of disaster stricken areas.